How to use turning tubes

There are several methods to turn fabric straps but my all time favourite is using turning tubes. I use the Prym Turning Set as these were the ones I came across in a sewing shop in the UK – I didn’t even know turning tubes existed until then but bought them anyway to give them a try and I am so glad that I did!

Prym turning set


I used to hate turning straps, as no matter which method I used, it was always so fiddly. I even avoided spaghetti straps altogether. I didn’t expect a tool like the turning tubes to make much difference, but they really did. If you don’t have them I would definitely recommend getting them and I’ve used them on the waistband of the Cuddly Carrier as well as straps etc.

So here’s how to use them:

  1. Sew along the edge of the folded strap like usual. However, one end also needs to be sewn closed (if the final strap is left open, make the strap longer than needed and cut to the correct length at the end).

how to turn fabric tubes 1


2. Push one of the turning tubes into strap, choosing the largest one that will fit in easily. It has an angled top to make it easier. Push it right up to the closed end. Don’t worry if the strap is so long that the turning tube disappears inside!

how to turn fabric tubes 2


3.  Use the flat end of the wooden dowel that comes with the turning tube to push the closed end into the turning tube.

how to turn fabric tubes 3


4. Keep pushing the dowel into the tube, helping to feed the fabric into the tube as necessary, until the dowel comes out the other end of the tube.

how to turn fabric tubes 4


5. Hold the tube and pull the dowel and turned fabric – I love this part as the fabric turns so quickly and easily!

how to turn fabric tubes 5


6. Use the pointed end of the dowel to poke out the corners (or trim off the end if needing an open strap).

how to turn fabric tubes 6


If you can’t find the Prym ones that I used then look out for Turn-it-all ones and if all else fails find someone who had odd bits of tube and dowel laying around their garage! I hope you’ll fall in love with them as much as I did.

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